Jersey Shore Rental Guide, Part 1: Long Beach Island
This narrow spit of land is where the Shore vacation began, some say. Its 11 communities offer something for everyone.
Long Beach Island is the Jersey Shore vacation spot for those who enjoy the Shore but not the throngs of daytrippers. That’s because it’s not as easy to get to from Philly as the rest of the southern Shore; you can’t get there on public transit, and what’s more, there’s only one way on and off the island — the Route 72 causeway that touches down in its middle, in Ship Bottom.
Once there, though, you’ll find the island’s 11 communities offer something for everyone. Nature lovers will appreciate the parks and wildlife preserves at both ends of the island: Barnegat Lighthouse State Park at the north end in Barnegat Light, and the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, which includes High Bar Island off LBI’s northern end and the entire southern end of the island below Holgate. Barnegat Light, where the lighthouse guided ships headed into New York Harbor, offers both history and a working fishery. The communities in the island’s middle, Surf City and Ship Bottom, have a relaxed vibe, while the party crowd will want to frequent the bars and clubs of Beach Haven. There you’ll also find family amusements and the Victorian charm of the Beach Haven Historic District
Here are some choice properties available for rent up and down the island. Unless otherwise noted, these rentals prohibit pets and smoking, and the rental week begins on Saturday.
Located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, historic Barnegat Light has quickly become a hot spot for vacationers. Climbing up the Barnegat Lighthouse will produce some of the most beautiful views imaginable on the island. Not much of a climber? No worries; you can picnic and fish at the park as well.
The beaches of Barnegat Light are spacious and clean, where guests can enjoy some relaxing time in the sun. Fishing is a must-try in this area — from surf fishing to bay fishing to crabbing, it’s all available. Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach agent Alicia Marzarella has seen this area throughout the pandemic and knows how hectic the rental market has become. To her, Barnegat Light is a vacation spot where people from the city can come enjoy themselves and feel safe.
A classic in a family-friendly spot: This classic Shore cottage looks like a vintage Cape Cod on the outside in front, but once inside, you will find a bright, modern residence with all the latest amenities and plenty of room to relax, indoors and out. In the back you will find a large deck and a beautifully landscaped yard. Barnegat Light’s recreation complex, featuring tennis courts, a skatepark and a playground, are just down the block in one direction, and a bayfront park sits at the other end of the block. One block further away are the borough’s baseball fields, dog park and public boat ramp. 22 W. 11th St. 4 beds, 2 baths, sleeps up to 8. Rental week begins Friday. $2,600 to 4,850 per week. [Vacation Rentals LBI]
Filling up fast: It should be no surprise that his deck-filled duplex just three doors away from the ocean is all but spoken for, but two weeks remain open in the peak season. If you want a beach-block house in an attractive community, you need to jump on this one. 12 E. 24th St. 2 beds, 1 bath, sleeps up to 6. $1,700 to $2,375 per week. [RealTimeRental.com]
All Decked Out: That’s the name of this beach-block contemporary in the north end of Barnegat Light, and it lives up to its name. Bright and airy, and built to accommodate a large brood, this house is also close to the Barnegat Light business district, several good restaurants and Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. The Barnegat Light Museum and Edith Gwynn Gardens is just a short stroll away to the west. Several good weeks remain available in the peak season, and it’s completely available in the shoulder season. 504 Central Ave. 6 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths, sleeps up to 15. $4,500 to $9,000 per week. [Vacation Rentals LBI]
Loveladies takes its name from a 10-acre island in the bay owned by a man named Thomas Lovelady. The United States Life-Saving Service established a station here in 1871, and a community grew around it. On its bay side are many canals lined with boat docks, and in the middle, the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences offers arts, science and recreation programs for residents and visitors alike. You might even bump into a famous artist-in-residence during your stay.
New neotraditional on the ocean: This recently built, lavishly outfitted house right on the beach can accommodate a large family with relatives or several friends. One of its more unusual amenities: a rooftop pool! You can still book this house for two peak-season weeks, and it’s wide open in the shoulder season. 161-F Long Beach Blvd. 6 beds, 6 full, 3 half baths, sleeps up to 14. Rental week begins Friday. $17,000 to $31,500 per week. [RealTimeRental.com]
Surf City and Ship Bottom
These two towns occupy the middle of the island. Ship Bottom, known as “The Gateway to Long Beach Island,” gets its unusual name from a 1917 accident in which crews rescued a woman from a wrecked boat that had flipped over by hacking through its hull with axes. You can go crabbing and fishing off the pier in Ship Bottom’s Waterfront Park.
Surf City is the site of one of the first boarding hotels at the Jersey Shore. Called “The Mansion of Health,” it opened in the early 1830s and burned down in 1874. Even though it’s long gone, some LBI old-timers refer to the bayside cove on which it sat as “Mansion Cove.” Shops and restaurants line Surf City’s stretch of Long Beach Boulevard.
Spend a little time in Surf City: Don’t have or want to spend a whole week at the Shore this summer? This huge oceanside contemporary at Surf City’s southern edge can be booked for shorter-term stays in June as well as longer ones in the shoulder season. Perched atop the highest dune in Surf City, this house is a great place to bring the kids, as the beach in front of it has lifeguards. It also has a huge great room and two primary suites with ocean views, and with grocery delivery, you’ll never have to leave it once you get there unless you want to dine out, shop or see the sights. 1 S. 3rd St. 7 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths, sleeps up to 22. $14,250 to $17,505 per week; nightly rates for shorter stays range from $995 to $1,435 per night in June, $2,425 per night the week after Labor Day and $900 to $1,050 per night in the rest of the shoulder season. [Vacation Rentals LBI]
Pooch-perfect bayside house in Ship Bottom: You, your family and your friends — including the four-legged ones — can just sail right up to this bayside house offering water views from every room. Its huge rear deck flows seamlessly into the boat dock, making it ideal for those who enjoy recreation and entertaining both on as well as by the water. 381 W. 12th St. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths, sleeps up to 10. Pets welcome. $5,000 to $9,000 per week. [Mary Allen Realty]
Brant Beach and Brighton Beach
Brant Beach and Brighton Beach lie between Ship Bottom and Beach Haven in the island’s southerly reaches. These two quieter communities offer a little respite from the more active environments of LBI’s other towns.
For lovers of sunsets: This bayfront contemporary in Brant Beach puts nothing in the way of your enjoying gorgeous sunsets over Flat Island in the bay. That’s why its owners dubbed it “Flat Island Sunsets.” You’ll enjoy relaxing on its decks as you watch the sun sink below the horizon, and if you feel like sharing the sunset with your neighbors, Daddy O’s rooftop bar is just a short walk away. 4106 Long Beach Blvd., Brant Beach. 4 beds, 2 baths, sleeps up to 12. Rental week begins Sunday. $4,000 to $7,500 per week. [Mary Allen Realty]
Oceanside house with roof deck: This Craftsmanish house in Brighton Beach has its own private walkway over the dunes to the ocean. And when you don’t feel like laying on the beach, it also has a hot tub on its roof deck where you can take in both the sunrise over the ocean and the sunset over the island. Its kitchen boasts top-of-the-line appliances and a wine fridge as well, and you won’t have to worry about running out of propane for its gas grill, which is hooked up to gas service. 123 E. 87th St., Brighton Beach. 6 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths, sleeps up to 12. $15,000 to $25,000 per week. [Mary Allen Realty]
Updated April 14th, 12:01 p.m., to correct the name of Mary Allen Realty. Updated April 24th, 3:28 p.m., to correct historical information about Ship Bottom.